Father, You showed Amos two punishments, judgments for Israel. Then told him “This will not happen”. You relented, or yielded, turned away from those judgments in favor of another. What a heart You have for Your people, that You withheld the punishment they deserved, out of Your love. You knew they would not be able to bear up under it, or survive. How often have You spared me from the punishment my words and actions, my sins deserve? No doubt, daily. Were You not my Sovereign Lord, I would not survive. Thank You for Your mercy.
You told Amos “The days are coming when I will send a famine thorough the land – not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the Words of the Lord.” This was certainly fulfilled in the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments, when no further prophetic word was given. But it can also be true of our world today. Right now, I can enjoy the freedom to worship You, to study Your Word, to attend church. But even now, the reading and public speaking of Your Word is being called ‘Hate Speech’.
Hate Speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits. Many universities, for years the havens of ‘free speech’ have adopted codes prohibiting speech that offends any group based on the traits listed above. While the intent is good, to protect people groups from racial slurs, intimidation and threats, it is becoming more popular to also outlaw scripture and categorize it as ‘hate speech’. Already Christian speakers on radio have been told to watch what they say about topics that are considered politically incorrect, lest they lose their funding and rights to broadcast.
Father, give the leaders of my country godly wisdom to know where to set the limits of public broadcasting, so that people are protected, but religious freedoms are not restricted. Don’t let us throw out the baby with the bath water.
There may come a time in my country, where believers have to go underground, smuggle Your Word, and study it in secret. Father, help me hide Your Word in my heart so that I have a storehouse of scripture for times of famine. Help me share what I know of Your Word with others so they can be fed on Your Word and not hunger or thirst, and turn to other gods. While I can, let me feast on all that You show me in Your Word. Let me never go hungry.
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the freedom I have to enjoy it and worship You. Thank You that I can trust my future to You. I “put my hope in You both now and forevermore”. Amen